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Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations
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Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations

3.81  ·  Rating Details ·  4,781 Ratings  ·  445 Reviews
A revelatory examination of how the wildfirelike spread of new forms of social interaction enabled by technology is changing the way humans form groups and exist within them, with profound long-term economic and social effects-for good and for ill

A handful of kite hobbyists scattered around the world find each other online and collaborate on the most radical improvement
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published February 28th 2008 by Penguin Press HC, The
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May 20, 2015 Caroline rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychology
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 12, 2008 Ken rated it it was amazing
Why did you log in to GoodReads today? What is behind the explosion of Internet-based social networking in all its forms, from e-mail, to listservs, to Facebook, Flickr and Twitter? And more important: what does this new wave of truly participatory media bode for the future?

Clay Shirky takes on these big questions in Here Comes Everybody, and the result is an engaging, eye-opening book that draws upon social change theory, economics, and psychology. Shirky contends that the Internet, cell phones
Aug 26, 2009 Jamie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: just-for-fun, adult
This should be required reading for all librarians, if for nothing else than Chapter 3, in which he mentions how the people inside the institutions have the hardest time seeing how the institution is becoming obsolete. (yikes! but true!) AND Chapter 5 in which he explains how Wikipedia works. I also loved the later chapters on the importance of failures, and how institutions often have a hard time letting things go because they've already paid for them.

This "failure"concept first occurred to me
Jun 23, 2009 Catherine rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009, mainstream-us
If you're someone who wonders what those kids are up to these days, and you've heard of facebook but don't know what it does, and someone mentioned twitter to you once, but that pretty much escapes you - this is the book for you.

Needles to say, it was not the book for me.

Much of this book is spent describing various social networking / new media sites, and exploring their function as part of an altered vision of social organizing. The internet, runs Shirky's argument, allows users to cut out the
Nov 05, 2013 Irena rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
After reading Morozov, I just can't take this seriously. Shirky sounds super enthusiastic about group forming, power of groups, yeey..
First anecdote with the lost phone makes a great point and then the book goes downhill.
Shirky is cyber-utopianism galore. I can't--
Josh Braun
May 08, 2008 Josh Braun rated it really liked it
Reprinted from my website:

Clay Shirky's new book, Here Comes Everybody is at once highly readable and a massive undertaking. He sets out to explain, as many recent authors have done, how new communication technologies and the people who use them are changing the world we live in. This is a task so large that, to my mind, no one's really done it successfully. But watching people try is always enlightening. In effect, reading through books on Internet and society is like watching a multitude of
Jan 18, 2010 Georg rated it liked it
Shelves: english, non-fiction
This book unfolds and explains an interesting theory about the internet and how it changed modern communication, our day-to-day life and our thinking. I liked his description of the steps from the medieval scribers to Gutenberg's printing technique, from the telephone and the radio/TV to the first years of the Internet and then the generation of Facebook, Flickr and Twitter. It opened my eyes how much this revolution arose from economic (and time sparing) facts and rules and how professional wri ...more
Mike W
Aug 22, 2010 Mike W rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Clay Shirky's book is enjoyable and worth reading, though the main point--that technological change has lowered communications costs tremendously, thereby also encouraging group formation--is obvious. The book is really a collection of anecdotes illustrating this central point. These anecdotes cover a wide range--from the creation of Wikipedia to a fashion obsessed blogger undermining a military coup to an online chat group for anorexics--and are generally interesting.
Kimberly Lightle
Jan 29, 2009 Kimberly Lightle rated it it was amazing
This book really hit home in terms of the amazing changes that are occurring because of the read/write web and the digital tools that are available to everybody. Amazing cultural and social shifts are occurring. One of my favorite quotes from the book (and there are many) is - We're not dealing with information overload, that's been happening since the 1500s with the invention of the printing press, we're dealing with filter failure.
Dec 12, 2013 Kelley rated it liked it
I really ought to write a fairer review. Alas, time constraints mean that I never get around to it. I end up snarking or kvelling way more than a book deserves, and never correct my initial impressions with a systematic review. So, I'll be lazy again and simply paste a few things I wrote to my friend, Dwayne Monroe:

Breaking: Clay Shirky discovers the sun. News at 11!

Clay Shirky needs to stop drinking kool-aid laced sterno. In his book, Here Comes Everybody, he concludes with this amazing news!

Jul 10, 2009 Natali rated it it was amazing
This may be one of the best ethnographies of our time. Clay Shirky explores the ways in which technology has altered news consumption, social work, networking, self expression, and more. He argues that new media technologies are as revolutionary as the printing press and movable type once were.

Shirky takes examples from Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Digg. Those tools are still the leaders in social media but he could just as easily have written this five years ago using Friendster, Yahoo Group
Judyta Szaciłło
If you have spent the last 20 years of your life in blissful ignorance of what was happening around you, it may as well turn out to be a fascinating book for you. However, if you are capable of watching the world around you and making your own conclusions, I wouldn't bother in your place, and I feel sorry that I did. It was a waste of time as I have not learnt anything new. The narrative flows nicely enough, but there are far too many repetitions, too many occurrences of only slightly rephrased ...more
Patrick Brown
A life-changing book, comparable to The Omnivore's Dilemma in how it reshaped my thinking on a subject. Highly recommended for anyone interested in how the web is impacting social interaction. While Shirky can drift into techno-utopianism from time to time, he seems to always look at the world with fresh eyes. Unlike other writers on the subject, Shirky's prose is clear, and his examples are quite convincing.
Luca Conti
Dec 16, 2010 Luca Conti rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Clay Shirky è indubbiamente uno degli autori più capaci oggi di analizzare i cambiamenti sociali provocati dall’avvento su larga scala di social media e social network, con una prosa leggera, quanto coinvolgente e ricca di casi, esempi, spiegazioni comprensibili a tutti. Se leggi abitualmente questo genere di libri, in Uno per uno, tutti per tutti finirai col trovare storie che in qualche caso avrai già sentito. Un po’ perché il libro è stato pubblicato nel febbraio del 2008, un po’ perché è cos ...more
Jami Kumar
Apr 20, 2009 Jami Kumar rated it really liked it
I learned about a new application called dodgeball ( but it looks like the site is being shut down. Basically, the service allowed you to subscribe and then if you were out on the town and you posted your location, it would notify everyone affiliated with your account and any of your friends accounts if you were in the same vicinity. It included a pic of the person in the phone so you could essentially meet a friend of a friend out without being previously introduced. C ...more
Jun 01, 2009 Martha rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
Here Comes Everybody opens with a story of the everyday: someone loses a phone. But it is not just a someone and it is not just an everyday. This person happens to have a friend who is a savvy programmer and the day is now, where millions of people are connected through various online networks. The phone is found and returned, but Clay Shirky’s point is made: communities are growing so you need to understand them and how they change things.

Each chapter of the book covers a different way online c
Feb 09, 2012 Jakub rated it liked it
This probably should not have been a book. It probably should have been an essay, in Wired magazine or maybe in The Atlantic. Shirky is a good writer, he writes clearly and entertainingly, but there just isn't enough substance in here to justify an almost 400 page book. There are a few [maybe two or 3] central ideas that are then expanded upon, examples are given, then more examples are given, and then finally padding is added.

I got the same kind of feeling reading this book as I do reading Mal
Mar 06, 2009 Jill rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone!
Shelves: nonfiction
Fantastic stuff. I'm already finding ways to use this (or at least have seen it) in so many places in my life. Those who are technological immigrants (Baby boomers, and early Gen-Xers) should read this to keep up on what is happening, and technological natives should read this to make sense of why the old way will be the ruin of some businesses (and non-profits, and political campaigns, and clubs, and...).

Of particular fascination to me was the way he talked about explicit and implicit promises
Tasha Christensen
Sep 05, 2012 Tasha Christensen rated it liked it
Clay Shirky's "Here Comes Everybody" is an anecdote-rich look into the changing world of social media and digital collaboration. He uses examples as varied as one man's quest to bring a phone thief to justice to Thai censorship during a military coup.

Perhaps one of the most important things that I garnered from this book is the switch we are undergoing from a vertical hierarchy to something much more spread out and amorphous. Almost monthly a new website becomes popular that enables users to upl
John Gentry
Apr 24, 2014 John Gentry rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
I had to read this book for one of my classes, Anthropology of Media and Culture. Perhaps this is what created my dislike of this book. The whole time reading I felt like it was all old news. I understand that Shirky is one of the foremost authorities when it comes to new types of media but I think his effort in creating this book was in vain. The events he references, the websites he talks about, etc. are all yesterdays news. This led the book to be dry and boring to me. I felt like the author ...more
Zan Godschalx
Mar 02, 2014 Zan Godschalx rated it really liked it
This is a great book for anyone who has an interest in social psychology and the impact technology has on groups and their ability to implement action.

Clay Shirky’s goal is to explain how new communication technologies and how people use them affects everyone and shapes the world around us. Beyond just documenting this change, he describes how this change has taken place due to the lowered communications cost and technology shifting to encourage quick and easy group formation. One of my favorite
Feb 24, 2009 Lilly rated it liked it
This book's all about the rise of social tools (think twitter, facebook, meetup, etc) and how the lowered costs of social interactions have changed group dynamics. It's a great overview of the various movements and episodes they've inspired (who thought I'd look upon Twitter with such respect?) and of the role of technology in our lives. I thought it was well-written and a quick read, and it made me feel kinda cool again. You digg?
May 06, 2015 Katie rated it really liked it

Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations

Clay Shirky’s Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations published by Penguin Group has received high praise since its publication in 2008. However, high success rarely comes without high criticism. In short, the overall topic of the book comes down to one sentence, discussing the influence new digital media technologies have had on the organization, management, and power of groups in informal organizati
Mar 31, 2008 Jerry rated it it was amazing
Clay and Yochai Benkler have been the best recent chroniclers of how business is being changed by the new self-organizing capabilities of the Net.

Where Yochai's writing is pretty academic (sorry, Yochai), Clay's is crisp, accessible and full of nuggety goodness.

Clay's a great storyteller, and chooses his stories wisely to drive home the points of how much things have changed in a decade.
Fred Zimny
Sep 27, 2009 Fred Zimny rated it really liked it
A revelatory examination of how the spread of new forms of social interaction enabled by technology is changing the way humans form groups and exict within them. Our age's new technologies of social networking are evolving- and causing us to evolve into new groups doing new things in new ways.
Clay Shirky is a leading Internet thinker and a sharp analyst of social media developments.

Mary Ann (MAA)
Sep 15, 2012 Mary Ann (MAA) rated it really liked it
Good book to understand power of new technology whether it be social media or the web. It's a little dated, but is a good read for boomers and older to understand how people are using new methods of communication and interaction. Can provoke good discussion for those who are interested in, but not fully understand, the new technologies that young people have grown up with.
Joe O'Donnell
Aug 26, 2016 Joe O'Donnell rated it it was ok
“Here Comes Everybody” is concerned with the effect of the internet on how groups and individuals communicate with each other, with a particular focus on how the internet has demolished "local barriers to the flow of information". Clay Shirkey builds up his argument using a number of case studies, such as how contemporary online forms of communication has allow geographically-dispersed groups of clerical sex abuse survivors from across the globe to coordinate and mobilise against the Catholic Ch ...more
Jan 05, 2016 Duncan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pleasantly surprised by the book. Even though Shirky is very entertaining and incisive in his ted talks and opeds, I thought the book would be dated by now considering that it was written almost 10 years ago and deals with social media, which has changed a lot in the last few years. To give an example, Twitter was launched when the book was being written. Despite this, and even though Shirky does use examples that are dated, he still manages to talk about fundamental principles in such a way tha ...more
Phil Simon
Mar 18, 2010 Phil Simon rated it it was amazing
Fascinating read about social networks and organizing. Addresses questions such as:

What's the optimal group size?
Why groups can't exist without members and vice versa?
Why are social tools bound to transform society?
Why has the filter than publish model has been replaced with its converse?

Just an excellent read.
Apr 01, 2016 Holley rated it really liked it
Shelves: school
This book is an interesting - if slightly outdated - study of online communities. The book discusses the pros and cons, along with what we can learn from studying these communities and the people who participate in them. He discusses the economics of forming groups and the mass amateurization of the internet. In other words, the internet allows people other than professionals with institutional ties the ability to form groups, post journalistic articles about important events, and share photos w ...more
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Watch Clay Shirky Speak on this book (42 min) 2 25 May 14, 2012 12:36PM  
  • The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom
  • Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide
  • The Future of the Internet and How to Stop It
  • Everything Is Miscellaneous: The Power of the New Digital Disorder
  • The Cluetrain Manifesto
  • Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy
  • Born Digital: Understanding the First Generation of Digital Natives
  • Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution
  • Consent of the Networked: The Worldwide Struggle For Internet Freedom
  • Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies
  • Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out: Kids Living and Learning With New Media
  • The Pirate's Dilemma: How Youth Culture Is Reinventing Capitalism
  • The Social Life of Information
  • Being Digital
  • Grown Up Digital: How the Net Generation Is Changing Your World
  • The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom
  • The Mesh: Why the Future of Business Is Sharing
  • The World Is Open: How Web Technology Is Revolutionizing Education
Mr. Shirky divides his time between consulting, teaching, and writing on the social and economic effects of Internet technologies. His consulting practice is focused on the rise of decentralized technologies such as peer-to-peer, web services, and wireless networks that provide alternatives to the wired client/server infrastructure that characterizes the Web. Current clients include Nokia, GBN, th ...more
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“When we change the way we communicate, we change society” 50 likes
“Communications tools don't get socially interesting until they get technologically boring.” 27 likes
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